“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God believe also in Me.” John 14:1
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27
These words “Let not” jumped off the pages this morning and into my anxious heart as a reminder from the Lord that although I do not have control over the circumstances of my life, I do have control over whether or not I am going to allow myself to be anxious or troubled about those circumstances. Here Jesus encourages us through His encouragement to His disciples to not let our hearts get stirred up with anxiety or fear, but instead to believe.
Back in November of 2014 when Titus (our oldest son who has battled brain cancer) and I were in Houston for his radiation treatments, a dear friend loaned me her scripture cards from her season of walking through cancer with her daughter. The verse that the Lord told me to claim as my own from those cards for this journey was Mark 5:36 – “…don’t be afraid any longer, only believe.”
So here we are now facing Titus’ first scans since his radiation treatments this coming Monday and I find myself once again with an anxious heart. I find myself at a crossroads between two paths – it is very much my choice as to which one I walk down on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. There is the path of worry and fear – honestly I feel entitled to walk on this path as a mother of a child who has had cancer. Sometimes it feels like the right path, I’m his mother and I’m supposed to worry, right?! Wrong! This path always ends with me being withdrawn, irritable, and anxious in my words and actions. Sometimes on this road I flat out panic and struggle to put one foot in front of the other. The other path – the one of trusting God and believing and remembering all that He has done is honestly harder for me to get started down, but once I am there and have remembered all He has done and focus on His truths then I get to experience what His Word calls the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
This encouragement to “Let not our hearts be troubled” which comes from Jesus in John 14 was not a trite saying that we so often hear when enduring a hard time from well-meaning, but not “tried by fire” people. Jesus – who understands our pain – had just been betrayed by Judas and then told His disciples who had walked with Him, learned from Him and loved Him that He was leaving. Then He told Peter that he would betray Jesus. Surely at this time agony gripped all of their hearts, surely Jesus was staring into the faces of men who were having a hard time understanding what He was saying and what He was about to do. It was at this point that Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”
We know on this side of that evening what it was Jesus was talking about, but those poor men did not. Isn’t it the same with us? Jesus was telling them that they key to not being troubled in troubling times is trust. In His encouragement I believe He was telling us that we have a choice in it. We can let our heart be troubled or we cannot. But in the impossible circumstances that we face the ONLY way that we cannot be troubled is by trusting in Jesus. NO other way.
So, I sit here not knowing what our future holds and I know that as you read this many of you have impossible circumstances you face. The temptation to give into despair, panic, and/or something to numb the pain is REAL. This morning as I read, I felt the eyes of the Savior not looking into my eyes as He was with His disciples, but looking into my soul which He can see and speak to and saying – Don’t let your heart be fearful, anxious and troubled. Only through Me do you have the ability and strength to find peace in a world and circumstances totally absent of peace. “Don’t be afraid any longer, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)
“Don’t worry about tomorrow, God is already there.”
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